Fox is seeing a decrease in World Series viewership through four games, as the Astros-Nationals matchup was averaging 11.6 million viewers headed into last night’s Game 5 in DC. Last year’s Red Sox-Dodgers tilt averaged 13.5 million viewers through four games, meaning this year was down 14% heading into last night. Despite being down from last year, Fox won the night in primetime for each of the first four Astros-Nationals games. The 10.2 million viewers for Game 4 on Saturday helped Fox to its best Saturday night since January, while Game 3 (12.2 million viewers) was the net’s best Friday since last year’s Red Sox-Dodgers Game 3, which went 18 innings (Josh Carpenter, THE DAILY).
NOT SWEATING IT: AD AGE's Anthony Crupi wrote no matter how the Astros-Nationals World Series "shakes out," it will "out-rate everything else on primetime TV not affiliated with the NFL." Fox over the first two games "averaged 3.88 million adults 18-49." Aside from NFL broadcasts, not a single network program this season has "matched Fox's World Series performance." In light of the "anemic ratings generated by the Big Four networks' non-sports programming, Fox's baseball deliveries remain rather enviable" (ADAGE.com, 10/25).
SIGN OF THE TIMES: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy noted out-of-town newspapers "hardly cover the World Series anymore." The Dallas Morning News "did not cover the World Series in Houston." World Series press boxes have been "predictably full of folks from Houston and Washington, but there's no newspaper representation" from Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis or S.F. Shaughnessy wrote as far as he "can tell," it is just N.Y., L.A. and Boston covering the World Series. MLB now has "become something of a regional game" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/27).
PLANTING THE SEED: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted 38-year-old Cardinals P Adam Wainwright is "likely close to retirement." Mushnick: "If I ran an MLB-partner TV network, I'd start bugging him to become one of my analysts." Wainwright "has it all: Personable, erudite, well-spoken, frank, self-effacing and, as heard during interviews, funny, engaging and concise" (N.Y. POST, 10/27).